Sunday, December 07, 2008

Like spring, summer, fall

Date: Dec. 7
Mileage: 35.7
December mileage: 162.2

I've been in a bit of a weather funk again. Sometimes I just can't help it. Sometimes I feel like Juneau's been between seasons since, oh, March or so. Summer was always peeking just over the horizon but never really came. Since then, we've had a few quick gasps of winter, but the rain always returns. Always the rain. The 12-month season. It doesn't matter whether it's March, July, October or December, I struggle to slink out the door when it's 42 degrees and raining (and I have ridden in this exact weather in all of these months.)

And yet, for all the times I remember reluctantly gearing up and wheeling my bike out into the blah weather, I don't recall a single ride when I came home and thought "I wish that never happened." Sometimes I push hard and feel strong. Sometimes I learn something new about my gear. Sometimes I listen to good music. Sometimes I see something exciting or beautiful. And I always end up being glad I went.

Take today for example:

I don't know whether it was the warm weather or if there was some kind of salmon run, but False Outer Point had a huge gathering of marine mammals today. I saw a small pod of humpbacks (two or three, it was hard to tell) and several large groups of sea lions and harbor seals. I was working on some intervals, but ended up stopping for a while just to watch them. The humpbacks were too far away to see much beyond the occasional spout, but the sea lions and seals were especially entertaining. A few caught giant fish and lunged out of the water, violently whipping the fish around like a dog playing tug-of-war with a sock. Then they'd dive back in and disappear, probably enjoying the spoils of the meal they just shook to death.

Eventually I became a little bit chilled from watching the animal show and headed out to the Rainforest Trail to ride a few fast loops on the twisting, tight singletrack. (Ah, dirt.) The Rainforest Trail looks rainforesty even in December.

On the coast I came across the remains of a startlingly pink sea creature strewn over a piece of driftwood. Maybe a jellyfish? Then it was back for more sea lion entertainment and some hard intervals home in the rain.

Really, not so bad. Maybe, in the future, I'll remember today as a pleasant respite from the snow.

*****

Also, I'm working on organizing the info about my book (brief description, first chapter, ordering details and reviews) into its own blog site. It's still very much a work in progress, but you can find it here.

*****

Finally, don't forget to enter the raffle for an Olympus Stylus 1030 SW camera today, tomorrow or Wednesday! For every $5 you donate to the LIVESTRONG CHALLENGE through my donation page, you'll receive a raffle ticket from Fat Cyclist for a chance to win this great camera! (And I'm going to throw in a few books as consolation prizes.) Donate here!